Word on Fire

Paul writes to Timothy

'I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you'
(2Tim 1:6)

so, to help the church with this, we offer this brief word, because

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord'
(Jeremiah 23:29)

Sea Mixed with Fire

Long ago in the land of Canaan, there existed a ‘god of the sea’. The people called him Yamm. This is, in fact, the same Hebrew word that is used for ‘sea’ in the Old Testament. Aside from many literal references to the sea, however, it is quite probable that the Bible speaks about this false god1 . Let me give you a few examples, in which the Hebrew yam might be speaking of the Canaanite sea god.

You rule over the majesty of Yamm; when his body/ back rises up, you still him. You crushed Rahab [here and below referring to a mythical sea monster] like one of the slain; with your strong arm you scattered your enemies. Psalm 89:9-10

It was you who split open Yamm by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters. Psalm 74:13

Am I Yamm, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard? Job 7:12

He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the body/ back of Yamm. Job 9:8

By his power he divided [in the sense of ‘cut up’] or settled [in the sense of ‘subdued’] Yamm; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces. Job 26:12

In these verses, the words in italics have been given their alternative interpretation, found in bible dictionaries and concordances, according to the alternative meaning of yam. They show God conquering and binding the false god of the sea. These verses, and others like them, give us insight into the manner in which ‘the sea’ is used in the bible as a metaphor for the activities of false gods (and, by inference, of Satan).

The sea represents trouble and wickedness in the bible. It is ‘a symbol of the seething nations of the world and of the troubled lives of the unrighteous’2 . For these reasons in Revelation 21:1 John tells us there is no sea in heaven!

On the other hand, fire – as observers of this site and of Heavenfire Ministries will have discovered – is the empowering, equipping, personal presence and passion of God into which we are baptised3 by the original ‘man of fire’, Jesus Christ, and which comes through his Holy Spirit.

In Revelation 15:2 the sea is seen to be mixed with fire. John records:
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name.

The New Testament Greek here implies thorough mixing of sea and fire, as when two ingredients are so mixed together that they become another, not merely as when just ‘swirled’ together. The victorious martyrs have brought spiritual Fire to the troubles of the world and the opposition of Satan and his false gods (demons)! The saints have overcome! In John’s vision, the sea has been changed, and has now become peaceful, perfectly undisturbed, a ‘sea of glass’. We too, the saints on earth, are in the process of overcoming. The waters of life4 and the flood of dissipation5 will inevitably and inexorably rise against us and against those around us. Our defence is to build on the Rock6, but our attack is to bring Fire to the world, to our witness, and to our spiritual warfare! Not a mere mingling, as of raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream, or a swirl of cream in a bowl of soup. Not an occasional exploration out into the world of sin and wickedness, but as witnesses who are world-changers. But don't fear, saints! This witnessing to the world will not change the believer who is truly on fire! The fire from heaven is such a flame that even the sea cannot extinguish! Although in the vision that Jesus gave John the sea has been changed to be 'like glass', the fire is still distinctly fire!

Get your fire blazing bright, brothers and sisters, take into your daily life the spiritual fire that really changes the nature of the world and overcomes false gods, sin, and wickedness. For our God is a consuming fire!
FOOTNOTES: 1. See Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W Vine, M.F. Unger, & W. White; Nashville, © Thomas Nelson 2 Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary; Ronald F. Youngblood (ed), © 1955, 1986 Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville 3 Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16 4. e.g. Psalm 32:6 5. 1 Peter 4:4 6. Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49

God of the Sea?
A Biblical exposition of the Indian Ocean tsunami Dec 26, 2004, with a focus on Psalm 93. In his ministry to affected Indian villages, the author found himself faced with the need to provide answers. In so doing, he unmasks the 'god of the sea' and directs listeners/ readers to Jesus Christ. This short booklet (just over 30pp), soon to be published, is essential reading for any Christian planning to visit, or ministering in, the tsunami regions!

Read more of what scripture tells us about the sea and the 'god' who rules it. Click the picture or go to http://my.lulu.com/heavenfire